"It is nothing less than a self-destructive war," the Kyodo News agency quoted the emperor as saying on July 31, 1941.
He also opposed an alliance with Nazi Germany.
Take from that what you will, but it appears as though Japan wants us to believe that Hirohito tried to STOP Japan from entering into a global conflict.
Keep in mind that Hirohito he did NOT really try to stop Japan from entering in conflict in his name. Nor did he criticize Japan's attacking of China before WWII—that was okay.
The book advance, the long-awaited official history of his reign, was released on September 9, 2014, but only partially, as the book will be published in stages over the next five years, beginning in March of 2015.
That's a photo above of just 27 of the volumes...
If they have 27-volumes ready now or at least ready for publication in March 2015, why is there a five-year wait for the remaining 34-volumes?
I'm betting it's because it hasn't been completed yet, and to go longer than 25-years without the official biography making its debut would seem... incompetent? No, definitely incompetent.
Yes... it is a 61-volume set. It should make for stunning reading which might make any incontinence become directed.
The book(s) is reported to have begun being created all the way back in 1990, and now the project is supposed to be costing Japanese tax payers about ¥200-million (US $1.9-million).
For that kind of money, I hope every Japanese taxpayer gets a free copy. Yeah, 'shaw (pshaw).
The book doesn't really offer anything new, except that it took the writers 25 effing years to write his official history—Hirohito died in 1989 at the age of 87-years-old and 62 years on the throne!
Now… should you be interested in this stunning non-novella, 61-volume history—written in Japanese—it was culled from exactly 3,152 official documents and records, which is why it took the writers so long to create the book.
Hey… you might as well get it right.
But… not everyone is buying that reason for the delay.
Speculation persists that the book was delayed because of the sensitive matter of Hirohito being such a polarizing figure: the god and leader of the Japanese nation or the man who had little real power in deciding its path in war or peace or the man who brought shame on the Japanese for its attacks on other countries or the man who brought shame by surrendering.
Hindsight is 20/20. We can sit back and say whatever we like about Kings and Queens, but really, in the 20th century on up they have not wielded any power except figurehead power. The same holds true for Emperor Hirohito.
It's why some countries ELECT a government when they already have a monarch or demigod.
Emperor Hirohito was just the face of a Japanese nation.
The biography, despite its length, does NOT contain any information regarding Emperor Hirohito's several meetings between himself and U.S General Douglas MacArthur, the man who put him on trial for war crimes, and latter helped strip him of his official 'god-like' powers within the Japanese spirit.
That, more than anything, really showed the Japanese of that era that they were no longer a dynamic force to be reckoned with.
The book does describe McArthur's meeting with Hirohito in September 27, 1945, but that was already made public… so… nothing new… perhaps just more revisionist history by NOT revealing all of the history.
Anyhow, very little new in the book that is interesting, unless you consider it contains copies of some letters that Hirohito wrote as a child.
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
Perhaps fodder for current Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo (surname first) who continues to stir up controversy with his repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, a shrine dedicated to Japanese soldiers, but one that also pays respect to soldiers who were also convicted of war crimes during World War II.
Emperor Hirohito, to his credit, stopped visiting the Yasukuni Shrine back in 1975 when he noted that it had added 14 Class A war criminals to the enshrined. There are a total of 1,068 Japanese war criminals enshrined there of lower distinction, including the A Class.
War criminals of WWII vintage were originally not enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine until the parole of the last incarcerated (jailed) war criminal was enacted in 1958…
But don't blame Hirohito!
The Yasukuni Shrine enforcers, along with the Japan Health and Welfare Ministry, kept the enshrinement of C and C Class war criminals a secret, enshrining them between 1959-1967. The Yasukuni Shrine began to enshrine Class A war criminals beginning in 1975, with it all becoming public in 1979.
So, while Hirohito knew about the whole war criminal thing by 1975, he kept his puppet mouth quiet, and privately offered his displeasure by his non-attendance.
Condemn Hirohito if you will, but he was still the face of a country that would become a dominant global economic giant, and one who did seem to regret his country's actions in WWII.
We have to wait five years for the whole Japanese-language version to be published? This isn't effing Harry Potter!
I would be interested, however, in reading an English-language version of the book(s) - hint-hint.